Guilty plea in Langley arson attack

Estranged husband will not face trial on attempted murder charges in April incident

Andre Harvey Richard

A Langley man arrested for an arson attack on his estranged wife and her two children has pleaded guilty to four criminal counts.

Andre Harvey Richard, who has been in custody since the April fire, made a brief appearance before a Surrey Provincial Court judge on Monday morning (Dec. 22).

Richard entered guilty pleas to arson, breaking and entering with intent to commit an indictable offence and two courts of aggravated assault.

Charges of attempted murder will be stayed by the Crown prosecutor.

Richard was arrested in Fernie the day after his wife and her two children managed to escape their burning house on Wakefield Drive in the  Willoughby area of Langley Township.

Police said the three were asleep when Richard set fire to their house around 1 a.m. on April 2, then entered the wife’s bedroom and assaulted her.

When the woman’s 14-year-old daughter tried to intervene, police said she was also assaulted.

The wife and daughter managed to escape the burning home with the couple’s eight-year-old son and fled to a neighbour’s house where they call 911.

The house was completely destroyed in the blaze.

A warrant was issued for Richard’s arrest.

The next day, RCMP received a call of an erratic, and possibly impaired, driver near Fernie, 30 minutes from the Alberta border.

A witness followed the suspect until the vehicle — a grey Saturn SUV — came to a stop.

The driver exited the vehicle and ran into bushes at the side of the road, said police.

A crisis negotiator convinced Richard to surrender without further incident.

At the Monday court appearance, the stocky, bearded Richard stood with a written copy of the charges in his hand as the judge read them out.

Four times, he was asked how he pleaded, and four times he said, “guilty, your honour” in a clear, low voice.

A small group of people attended the hearing.

One woman could be seen tightly gripping the hand of a friend as the guilty pleas were entered.

Richard is tentatively scheduled to return to court for a one-day sentencing hearing on March 5.

Between now and then, he will undergo a psychiatric assessment as part of a pre-sentencing report.

– with files from Monique Tamminga

 

Fire scene

Just Posted

South Surrey senior ‘irate’ over policing-transition venue change

Pat Anderson says she disagrees with the transition plan – but never got a chance to say so

White Rock water testing well within Health Canada guidelines

Drinking water more than measuring up to current standards, Dr. Saad Jasim tells council

Surrey-North Delta Meals on Wheels in ‘desperate’ search for new partner

Without a new kitchen found by Sept. 1, the charity says it won’t have food to deliver to those in need

‘He’s still with me on the daily’: Slain friend motivates Surrey’s Lyles to make it with B.C. Lions

Jaylen Sandhu a source of inspiration for running back, a former standout with Lord Tweedsmuir

Crime Stoppers urges Lower Mainland residents to check these 9 safety items every night

Home security tips demonstrated at Cloverdale house on Wednesday

VIDEO: Acknowledging skeptics, finance minister vows to build Trans Mountain project

Bill Morneau said he recognizes ‘huge amount of anxiety’ in Calgary over future of oil and gas sector

Men caught with illegal gun near Burnaby elementary school

They were sitting in a parked car near Cameron Elementary

Home care for B.C.’s elderly is too expensive and falls short: watchdog

Report says seniors must pay $8,800 a year for daily visits under provincial home support program

B.C. ‘struggling’ to meet needs of vulnerable youth in contracted care: auditor

Auditor general says youth in contracted residential services may not be getting support they need

Pair of B.C. cities crack Ashley Madison’s ‘Infidelity Hotlist’

Data from the website reveals Abbotsford and Kelowna hottest spots for cheaters

Life’s work of talented B.C. sculptor leads to leukemia

Former Salmon Arm resident warns of dangers of chemical contact

Billboard posted along B.C.’s Highway of Tears to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women

Billboards featuring Indigenous artwork to be placed in Surrey, Kamloops and near Prince George

Canada’s first dementia village close to opening

Langley project to provide home-like surroundings for between $83,400 and $93,600 a year

Unexpected snow blankets the Okanagan Connector

As of 6:50 a.m. DriveBC cameras displayed surprise snowfall on highway

Most Read

l -->